Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Opposite of Amazon.com

Today's example of horrible customer service:

On my ride this morning I noticed an alarming clunking noise with every pedal rotation. I think it is coming from the crank and probably indicates a bad bearing. I went to Schwinn's web site to find the nearest dealer authorized to do warranty work. Wanna know what I discovered?

There is none.

Not in Vegas.

Not in Nevada.

Not anywhere in the freaking United States.

Oh, there's a warranty, all right. But if I want to use it, I have to ship the bike back to Schwinn.

In Wisconsin.

At my own expense.

Think I'm making this up? See it in the company's own words here:

Now, it's possible that they mean only that the defective part has to be shipped to them, not the whole bike. But it's ambiguous. And the difference does me little good, since I don't have any easy way of knowing whether my guess about the nature of the problem is correct, and I really don't feel like pitting my all-thumbs mechanical idiocy against something like packed bearings. Even if I somehow managed to dissect it correctly, what expertise do I have to know what a good versus a bad bearing looks like?

All of which means that I'll have to pay out of pocket for the repair--just as if there were no warranty to begin with.

Thanks for nothing, Schwinn.


grrouchie serge said...

The good news is that when I start looking for a bike to take me to and fro work I will NOT be looking for a Schwinn!

Thanks for the PSA

There are some who call me... Tim said...

I'm looking to buy a bike, too. Trying to drop weight and get some exercise.

After a similar "for warranty work, please send that big screen TV at an expense of 1/2 the original cost" fiasco at Tiger Direct and reading your story, I believe Schwinn has been zapped off of my list.

Thanks for the info!

Memphis MOJO said...

New bikes aren't supposed to give you trouble. They're like washing machines that last forever (other than tires, of course). Boo on Schwinn.

Anonymous said...

Make sure it's not the pedal hitting the kick stand with every rotation.

Stefan said...

Did you get it from a local shop? If so take it back to them to have it checked out. Actually either way, take is to a local shop and have it looked at. The problem could be in the bearings, or could be as simple as something like the crank arm is a little loose from the crank shaft. Solution might be as simple as tightening a bolt. There are a lot of this bolted together down there and they go through a lot of torque when you ride. I think I saw you geared up with a bike tool? Most have a pedal size wrench, apply that to the bolt on the outside of where the pedal connects to the crank shaft.

Most bike shops offer a free 30 day tune up after purchase to handle this kind of thing.

Good luck.

Michael said...

That does suck, I had that problem with the first bike I bought, it turned out it was more the materials and construction of the bike and would have continued even with a new bike going forward. It led me to purchasing a higher quality bike, that's stood up really well.

Hopefully it's not the issue you are experiencing, but for such a new bike, I'd definitely ask some questions and raise some concerns.

Anonymous said...

Bike world on e flamingo is a schwinn dealer. There is an app called bike store locator for android

Drizztdj said...

I got three hits from the Schwinn website: City of Bicycles on South Valley View, Bike World on E. Flamingo, and Bicyclesource.US on Industrial.

It would be odd for them to post those locations w/o being able to handle warranty situations.

Anonymous said...


Don 't know if this is helpful but for a city to have something like this is pretty cool.

Crash said...

It just can't be a bearing after this short time. Does it clunk two out of four times? Or one out of two? I go for the kickstand theory.